God of More


I'd had my fill of Spartan super violence. Murdering Olympians had lost its charm and Kratos' unrelenting anger had worn thin. God of War 3 was decent, but felt far too familiar, an upgrade in visuals alone. I had lost all interest in the series and paid little attention to the announcements and previews for the latest instalment, Ascension. I took a moment to roll my eyes at the multiplayer and to wonder if prequel Kratos would have hair, before forgetting all about it.

I didn't discover God of War until 2007. In a year of PSP and Wii Sports, it felt good to eviscerate someone on the big screen, and the pair left a lasting impression. I've always been interested in ancient history and mythology, an interest I was keen to mix with my favourite past time (video games, not evisceration). The first two God of Wars did just that. I loved them both, and they served as a fitting farewell for my old, faithful PlayStation 2.

God of War: Chains of Olympus is one of my favourite PSP games, though by the time its successor, Ghost of Sparta, arrived I'd already had my fill. God of War 3 was my fourth God of War in the space of two and half years, the HD collections were surplus to requirements and Dante's Inferno, a shameless copycat, confirmed that I’d had enough of GoW's brand of ultra-violent, third person hack-and-slash, with nipples. While I'd greatly enjoyed the series, I was happy to move on. God of War "Don't Call me Four" Ascension was an afterthought in my Potential Highlights of 2013 and I had long forgotten that it was due this month, that is until reviews started appearing earlier this week. Watching a couple of video reviews - I don't do reading – I came to the conclusion that I’m ready to embrace the wan Spartan once again, or at the very least play his new game.


It would appear that our time apart has done the trick. The multiplayer looks bollocks, but the combos, chains, familiar enemy types and narrative are desirable once more, after three years of abstinence. There's no danger of me pre-ordering, but I absolutely intend on playing it at some point in the coming months. Who would have ever thought that taking a breather from a well-worn series might be of benefit in the long run? Certainly not Ubisoft.

As much as I enjoyed the naval combat in Assassin’s Creed 3, I cannot muster any enthusiasm for AC Blackbeard’s Ghost. I’m tired of yearly instalments and sick of the increasing shoddiness of a series that Ubisoft can’t stop picking at. AC Black Flag boasts an interesting setting, maintains a link to the excellent Haytham Kenway, will be available on next gen machines and is all “raise the starboard” and “fire the anchor”, which is great. It’s about assassin pirates for fuck sake, yet I’m indifferent at best. If God of War and I are to be reunited, then Assassin’s Creed must inherit the title of franchise most in need of rest, closely followed by Call of Duty, after the bitter disappointment that was Black Ops 2.

It must be difficult, keeping your franchise in the spotlight while avoiding saturation. Rockstar does a great job of keeping us talking, while taking its sweet time between releases. Grand Theft Auto, for example, remains one of the best loved and well known series in modern gaming, despite not having had a full, home console release for five years. Konami has maintained a steady supply of Metal Gear Solids without sacrificing quality or lessening the importance of a new MGS release. Bioware and EA have avoided Mass Effect overload, releasing three blockbuster games in four and a half years but resisting the urge to churn out lesser spin offs. But then that’s typical EA for you, ever mindful of quality and desperate to put the consumer first.

It remains to be seen whether Ascension will prove a triumphant return for Kratos or if it will merely serve to remind why I tired of the series in the first place. Either way, I’m happy to have rediscovered an enthusiasm for a franchise I once adored. Perhaps there’s hope for Assassin’s Creed yet.

Comments

  1. Daydream Drooler9 March 2013 at 07:52

    After GOW3 I had my fill, I enjoyed the story and gameplay but 3 lacked anything new, as you said, other than an upgrade to graphics. Which I for one felt was lackluster at best, stand it next to UC2 and you see all the square pixels and body parts meshing together. It hit an all time low for me when Herc's helmet sank into his upper chest... just ugh! I've simply had enough of GOW, people may think I hate the game but I truly don't, I enjoyed it with everyone else but 3 hit a low and I'd rather not let what I found to be a great game diminish any further.
    I have nearly the same feelings for AC, 3 hit a low point and was a pretty big disappointment, especially who you talk to about it. Having said that, I wished to get out of the AC business but I'm a sad sucker for pirates, so having them part of the series will draw me back in for at least one last game. I do feel it's extremely out of place, pirates have no loyalty and no business with the assassin's, I actually wrote a small piece regarding my thoughts of this new AC... I may post it on my site, we'll see.
    I do look forward to reading your thoughts of GOW Ascension, it might just get me to pick it up, who knows

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only played GoW3 the once, when it first came out. It was also one of the first games I played on my brand new TV, so I may have over reacted slightly on the visuals!

      Assassin's Creed may fool me again too. I love the idea of games with historical settings, so there is always a good chance that I will play the latest AC. I'll keep an eye out for your AC blog.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. God of War is that kind of series that always felt bargain bin to me. The games are fun, but I just blast through them and am then done. And there's so many sequels I never want to replay to get my fix, I just get it when it plummets in price. I'm sure I'll enjoy Ascension when I get around to it though. As for AC, it lost all hope when Desmond grabbed the orb. I couldn't care any less where the series goes from there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a shitty, shitty end, but at least he touched the orb. Ubisoft got that right, at least.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. I definitely need an AC break. The naval stuff was my favorite part of AC3, so I think in a couple years at a bargain bin type price, I will grab this new AC. Ubisoft really mishandled this franchise though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure I'll play it too, preferably on next gen hardware. AC does need a rest, but as long as it remains profitable to do so, Ubisoft will keep churning them out on a yearly basis, quality be damned :(

      Cheers

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

E3 2017: A Hastily Written and Poorly Researched Preview

PlayStation 3 - 180 Sentences on 180 Games

2017 When?